Las Vegas Sun

April 16, 2014

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high school football:

Palo Verde’s Beaulieu has two rushing touchdowns in win against Centennial

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Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun

Palo Verde High football players (from left) Sean Dennis, Josh Hamilton and Parker Rost before the 2013 season.

Prep Sports Now

Tornadoes and tirades

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Las Vegas Sun sports reporters Ray Brewer and Case Keefer open this week's show by discussing the top-ranked high school football team in the nation, Florida's Booker T. Washington, coming to town Friday to take on Bishop Gorman. They then work their way into other pertinent topics, highlighted by a discussion of the definition of "athlete" and whether Green Valley can match Canyon Springs' "quickness".

The football teams at Centennial and Palo Verde highs were playing against more than each other Thursday night.

With high winds hindering the passing and kicking games, field position with the wind at your back became a high priority in Palo Verde’s 22-13 victory.

Four plays into the game, Palo Verde coach Darwin Rost declined on sending his punt team onto the field with the wind in his punter’s face. Instead, the Panthers went for it on fourth down, with Rost’s son, quarterback Parker Rost, maneuvering for a short gain and a first down.

Without the wind, Palo Verde would have punted the ball to Centennial. But, because a punt would have likely resulted in negative yardage, Palo Verde’s initial drive of the game continued.

Four plays later, on another fourth down play where punting would have been the logical choice in clear conditions, Palo Verde went for it again. This time, Calvin Beaulieu raced 50 yards for the first of two touchdowns of the first half.

“You have to change your game plan about when you send out your punt team,” Darwin Rost said. “It was that way for both teams.”

Each team scored two touchdowns in the first half. And each team missed an extra point in battling the wind.

With the game even at 13 late in the second half, Palo Verde drove the ball deep into Centennial territory. On the last play of the half, kicker Bradley Matsukawa nailed a 25-yard field goal with the wind at his back for the eventual winning points and a 16-13 halftime lead.

Palo Verde, which has been balanced in its offense with running and passing plays all season, relied mostly on rushing because of the wind. Beaulieu rose to the occasion, scoring his second touchdown on a 70-yard run with 6:09 to play in the half.

“Our team executed all of their assignments,” Beaulieu said. “Centennial is a great football team, but we executed our assignments and played to our full potential.”

Palo Verde put the game away late in the fourth quarter when Parker Rost scored on a 1-yard run. The touchdown, ironically, was set up from a Rost to Jake Ortale 19-yard pass into the wind — one of rare positive-yard plays into the wind.

Centennial (1-3) scored both of its touchdowns in the first half, including Lantz Worthington racing 75 yards after catching a short screen pass from quarterback Coll Thomson for the Bulldogs second touchdown and a 13-7 lead six minutes before halftime. Centennial, however, would never threaten to score the remainder of the game.

Both teams open league play next week — Centennial at Bonanza in a Southwest League game; Palo Verde (3-1) at Shadow Ridge in Northwest League play.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected]. Follow Ray on Twitter at twitter.com/raybrewer21.

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